But wait...wasn’t social media supposed to be fun?

How social media managers stay sane during difficult times: 8 habits that don’t include pulling your hair out.
Lisa Raab
December 18, 2020 - 4 min. read

Shitstorms, COVID-19, working from home…shall I continue? Social media managers have had their work cut out for them in 2020 with constant changes and new crises brewing each day. But how do you balance both job and mind in (let’s say it together for the millionth time) these challenging times we live in?

2020 has indeed put ‘social’ back into social media. Those digital playgrounds quickly became the center of socializing, of activism, and of rallying people for a common cause. On top of it being one of the most frequently used sources of information, social media became the place to be and an absolute must-have for reaching your audience in 2020.

A day in the life of a social media manager

Brands all over the world relied heavily on their social media managers to relay information, position the brand, minimize losses, and perform crisis management, all in every post and without coming off as tone-deaf.

As marketers, we’re used to wearing many hats. But seeing how commenters can sometimes forget that there are in fact real people on the receiving end of social messages, digital marketers everywhere need support both mentally, strategically—and in-person.

Have you felt overwhelmed by social media? Even as a professional social media marketer, you need to know one thing:

It’s okay not to be okay.

No one is immune to stress and a valuable lesson to learn is that it is okay not to be entirely okay in the middle of all this. Working at a near-constant crisis mode takes its toll, and it can too easily become a way of life. That’s why we’ve gathered 8 habits of successful social media managers in troubled times.

8 things social media managers can do to take care of their mental health

1. Set work-life boundaries

  • Structure your day: Schedule focus-time in your calendar dedicated to specific tasks for the day.  
  • Set realistic goalsDetermine what’s most important: what you absolutely must do that day. Then, work through what you can. 
  • Plan for fixed social media slots after hoursIf you’rthe only social media manager and feel uneasy not checking notifications all the time, have a set time dedicated to checking up on pings after hours. We like a maximum of 30 minutes.   

2. Take screen breaks

  • Talk to your bossLevel with your boss about needing downtime and make sure you see eye-to-eye on the matter. 
  • Limit your screen timeSet app time-limits or use downtime app. 
  • Stay offline: Make it a rule not to check work feeds after hours (to check should be the exception) 
  • Turn off notifications: You might even want to consider deleting your work emails from your personal phone.  

 3. Establish your purpose

  • Control your FOMOSometimes you should resist the siren song of social media.  
  • Consider why you’re online just now: It is in fact important or are you just passing time scrolling?  
  • Make a deal with yourself: It’s all about discipline. For example, do you really need to look at your phone during your morning pee?  

4. Check in with your team

  • Open up to your colleagues: Share it if you’re stressed and encourage each other to set boundaries.  
  • Make time for non-work-related chats tooFor me, having a group chat with my colleagues where we only share memes and fun stuff has made work a lot more fun.  
  • Help out colleagues in needEven if you can’t help solve a problem, you can at least take their mind off the issues for a bit.  

5. Present your work to your company 

  • Be an open book: What’s a day in the life of a social media manager? The more you share, the more likely it is that people will understand your work process.  
  • Flag potential stress factors to leaders: If you don’t share, they won’t know and can’t help  

6. Make use of the community 

  • You’re never alone: Even if you’re the only social media manager in your firm, you’ve got thousands of fellow marketers online.  
  • Join a groupFacebook and LinkedIn have thousands of professional SoMe groups where people share resources, advice, and exchange ideas.  

7. Create or update your social media crisis strategy 

  • Stay preparedYou can’t always predict crisis, but you can prepare for them.  
  • Get your ducks in a rowResponse plans, internal communication, approval processes, and access points are excellent things to have documented before a crisis hits 
  • If nothing else, it’ll give you peace of mind: Even if a crisis never happens, you’ll rest easy knowing there’s a plan of action 

8. Ask for “a seat at the table” 

  • Raise your voice: Social media is not an afterthought, especially not during crises. You know that and I know that, and of course, everybody else who works with you needs to know that too 
  • Prove your worth…and the worth of social media in general. Don’t say how you are going to impact the business. Instead, convince them that you have already impacted the business.  

Remember, social media is supposed to be fun (most of the time anyway).